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Q. Did you have anything to do with the Boston and Portland route?—A. It has nothing to do with Boston and Portland.
Q. Worcester and Portland ?-A. Portland and Nashua I believe it is called. I had some little to do with that case, I believe.
Q. Does the merit of establishing that line belong to you?—A. No, sir; I never went over it, and do not know a great deal about it.
Q. You wrote the letters without knowing much about it?-A. I could write letters, of course, if I did not take an interest in it. Mr. Cheney was gone afterwards, and I do not know but he did a portion of the work.
Q. Did he do a portion of the Saint Albans line?-A. He did a portion of the work there also.
Q. But the remainder of the credit belongs to you?-A. I claim it.
Q. But it does not belong to you in regard to the Portland and Nashua route?—A. No, sir; I don't claim any.
Q. I suppose the main merit belongs to you in regard to establishing the fast mail line, does it not?-A. No, sir, not at all.
Q. You did not have anything to do with that?-A. No, sir; not much to do with establishing the fast mail. I tell you the man that established the fast mail and did all the work for it, in my opinion, was D. A. Holmes. Mr. Cheney cannot go to New York and put up a fast mail line, and make connections in New England for it, and D. A. Holmes, I believe, is the only man in New England in the postal service that could have put that work through as it was put through.
Q. Did you know that Mr. Cheney was here in Washington during the three years that you were there?-A. I suppose he came to Washington; he started for Washington and came back.
Q. Do you know of his saying that he had been here?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. How many times -A. I stated a while ago that I did not think he went more than three or four times or four or five times.
Q. Did you know of his reporting that he was in New York during that time?—A. Yes, sir, I do.
Q. How many times?
WITNESS. During what period?
Mr. EASTMAN. During the three years you spoke of.
A. No, I do not think he went often.
Q. Once a year?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. How much oftener?-A. Perhaps he went to New York six times; perhaps a dozen times; I do not think he did, though; I do not think he averaged once a month to New York.
Q. What are you going to stick to ?-A. I say I don't think he did.
Q. He went six times, then ?-A. I should say he did; I do not think he went a dozen.
Q. Do you think he went more than six times ?-A. Possibly.
Q. Do you know of his going to Chicago?-A. I know of his going to Dixon, Ill., where his relations live, as he said when he came back.
Q. Do you know of his saying he had been to Chicago?—A. He passed through Chicago, I believe, to go to Dixon: I do not know; I am not acquainted with the location of Dixon.
Q. Then you do not know of his being in Chicago?—A. No, sir; from no fact. Q. Do you know of his saying that he had been to Chicago?—Á. I do not remember that he ever told me that he had been to Chicago.
Q. Did you have a conversation with the postmaster of Boston before you came here?-A. Of course I did. I am superintendent of carriers under him, and went to him after I was subpoenaed to excuse myself, and told him I deemed it my duty to come here.
Q. Did he instruct you about your testimony here?-A. He told me to tell the truth. Mr. Tobey had no long conversation with me, except to excuse me from duty.
Q. Did you not go to Mr. Cheney twice, some six months before you resigned your position, and ask him to allow the testimonial to go on?-A. No, sir; on my oath I never knew of that. The man that tells that falsifies.
Q. I do not refer to the last testimonial.-A. To no testimonial since I have been in the service, or at other times.
Q. Did you not argue the case with him?-A. I never did, on my oath. I never mentioned any testimonial to Mr. Cheney in any way, shape, or manner. I told him just as I have told the story here. The man that says that, or intimates it, tells what is not true. I never talked with Mr. Cheney about the testimonial, excepting this one time; that is the truth.
(Witness is here instructed by the chairman to remain in Washington until further orders of the committee, and to report to the committee daily at 10 o'clock a. m.)
JAMES B. BACKUP sworn and examined.
By the CHAIRMAN :
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 28, 1876.
Question. State your occupation.-Answer. I am head clerk of the Boston and Albany railway post-office.
Q. Are you employed in the office or on the road?-A. I am on the road at present. Q. How long have you been in the service in that position ?-A. I have been in the service since May 17, 1865; that is, in the post-office and in the railway mail service. Q. You know Mr. Cheney, the gentleman against whom these charges are preferred? -A. Yes, sir.
Q. How long have you known him?-A. Ever since he has been superintendent of the first division; I do not recollect what year he was appointed.
Q. Have you been present here since these proceedings have been in progress ?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Have you any knowledge as to Mr. Stahl's absence from duty; and if so, how long was he absent?-A. I cannot give any dates. I can only tell what I know about it. I was in the office at the time. I cannot say that I have any direct knowledge of the circumstances. I know what the clerks told me that Mr. Stahl had been allowed such a leave; that is all I can state. I cannot state from my own direct knowledge. Q. Do you know whether he was present or absent ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. If absent, how long was he absent at a time?-A. Mr. Stahl left the office and was absent long enough to go to college at Brunswick or Bowdoin. As I understand it he had a three months' course of medical lectures, and he took time to go down there and graduate, and at the end of three months he came back to the office.
Q. He returned to duty in the office, did he?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. He was on the rolls for the time he was absent, was he?-A. Of course I cannot swear to it, but I suppose so. I never asked Mr. Stahl if he received his pay, but I suppose he did.
Q. Do you know whether he is in the service now ?-A. He resigned and left the service.
Q. When?-A. I should think some time about the 1st September.
Q. That was after he returned from the college?-A. Yes, sir; he returned from college and resumed his duties at his desk, and was looking for a place to locate, to see if he could not get up a practice.
Q. Do you recollect about what month he went away?-A. I cannot recollect what month; I can give a general idea, of course. It was some time along in the first half
Q. It has been testified to that he went in February or March.
Mr. EASTMAN. February 20.
By the CHAIRMAN:
Q. You say Mr. Stahl is now in the service. Do you know whether he is a practicing physician or not?-A. Yes; I believe he is attempting to make some practice.
Q. Have you seen any of his professional cards ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. What knowledge have you in regard to Mr. Cheney's absence from duty in his office-A. Mr. Cheney was absent from his office considerable.
Q. About what proportion do you think, without pretending to be accurate as to dates. Was he there half the time?
WITNESS. Do you mean to take it as a whole ?
The CHAIRMAN. Take it year in and year out.
A. I should say that he was there half the time, take it all around.
Q. You think, then, he is there about six months in the year?-A. I should say so. Q. Upon what business does he spend his time when not on duty at the office?—A. I do not know.
(Witness was instructed by the chairman to remain in Washington until further orders of the committee, and to report to the committee daily at 10 o'clock a. m.)
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 1, 1878.
A. T. STAHL sworn and examined.
By Mr. EASTMAN, counsel:
Question. What is your present position ?-Answer. I am assistant to the superinendent of mails at the Boston post-office.
Q. What was your position in 1875?-A. I was chief clerk of the railway mail service in the department of New England.
Q. State the facts in relation to the leave of absence which you had in February,
1875.-A. I had leave of absence from the general superintendent of the railway mail service, through Superintendent Cheney, for one month, commencing about the 20th of February, and I went to Brunswick College, Maine.
Q. For what purpose?-A. For the purpose of studying medicine at Bowdoin College.
Q. What was the arrangement made for obtaining that leave ?—A. Mr. Cheney procured it for me.
By Mr. MONEY:
Q. Have you got any letters or telegrams showing your renewed leave of absence?A. Nothing in writing.
By Mr. EASTMAN:
Q. Did you furnish a substitute ?-A. I did.
Q. After your first month expired?-A. Yes; at the expiration of the first month. Q. How long did you remain away under the arrangement made with Mr. Cheney?— A. Until about the 10th of June. I got through at Brunswick about the 8th of June
and returned to Boston.
Q. Did you then resume your duties at the post-office?-A. I then resumed my duties. Q. How long did you continue to discharge your duties in that office?-A. Until about the 1st of September.
Q. When did you resign?-A. I wrote my letter of resignation on the 26th of August. Q. When were you notified that your resignation was accepted, and from what time was your resignation to take effect?-A. I cannot give the date when I was notified of the resignation being accepted, but the resignation was to take effect on the 1st of October, 1875.
Q. Did you remain in the office during the month of September ?-A. No, sir; I was away from the office. I had leave of absence.
Q. From whom did that leave of absence emanate?-A. It came through the general superintendent of the railway mail service.
Q. In what form ?-A. In the form of a letter written to Mr. Cheney.
Q. Did you see the letter?-A. I saw the letter.
Q. State the contents of that letter.-A. When I resigned, on the 26th of August, Mr. Cheney inclosed my resignation to the general superintendent of railway mail service, and requested that I be permitted to have leave of absence for the month of September, my resignation to take effect on the 1st of October.
Q. Can you give the substance of the letter received from the general superintendent in reply -A. The substance was in answer to Mr. Cheney's request of the 26th of August, to the effect that he had permission to give me leave of absence for the month of September, my resignation to take effect on the 1st of October. That was the substance of it. I do not recollect the wording.
Q. State whether or not any person asked you for any compensation for discharging your duties during the month of September, when you had leave of absence?-A. There was an arrangement proposed for me to pay Mr. Blount for performing the duties of chief clerk in case I did not procure leave of absence or did not resign to take effect sooner. That arrangement was not carried out, because I obtained the leave of absence for the month, and therefore had permission from the general superintendent to be away and to receive my pay.
Q. State whether or not any demand was made upon you for the compensation which you talked about ?-A. It was demanded afterwards.
Q. By whom?-A. By Mr. Blount.
By Mr. CANNON :
Q. Are you now in the postal service?-A. Yes; I am employed by the postmaster in Boston.
Q. How long have you been there?-A. Since the 25th of January, 1877.
Q. Are you practicing medicine now ?-A. I advertise to practice medicine; I may say I am practicing medicine.
Q. Have you been practicing medicine ever since that time?-A. Yes; what I found to do.
Q. How do you practice medicine and attend to your post-office duties?-A. The time required in the post-office is from 9 o'clock in the forenoon until 5 in the afternoon. Q. Do you practice medicine during those hours?-A. No, sir; not at all.
Q. Have you taken any time from your office hours in the practice of medicine?—A. No, sir; not at all. I am at the office every day.
Q. Have you performed your duties the same as if you had not been engaged in the practice of medicine?-A. I have.
By Mr. CALDWELL:
Q. You say that you left for Bowdoin College about the 22d of February ?—A. No, sir; I was there on the 18th. I left Boston about the 17th or 18th of February.
Q. Before your leave of absence came ?-A. Mr. Cheney had permission to give me leave of absence before I left.
Q. Did you leave before any letter came from the department?-A. No, sir; Mr. Cheney, as I understand it, had permission before I went away.
Q. You staid in Bowdoin until the 8th of June?-A. Yes.
Q. And got back to the post-office at Boston about the 10th and resumed the performance of your duties there?-A. Yes, sir; but I did not resume the performance of my duties steadily until later in the month. My substitute was employed until later. Q. What time of the month did you resume your duties ?-A. I was at the office every two or three days until about the 15th or 20th of June, and then I resumed my duties in the office and remained there until I left again after resigning.
Q. Mr. Harrington was your substitute?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. How much did you pay Mr. Harrington ?-A. Fifty dollars a month.
Q. Was that all that he got for discharging your duties?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. About $116 a month ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you draw your pay regularly?-A. Yes.
Q. And you paid Mr. Harrington regularly $50 a month ?-A. Yes.
Q. You resumed your duties at a late period in the month of June?—A. I know that
I was at the office on the 9th of June, and thereafter every day or two until I resumed my duties permanently, my substitute continuing in the meantime.
Q. How much did you pay Mr. Harrington in all?-A. One hundred and fifty dollars.
Q. That was for three months' service?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Your leave of absence commenced on the 20th of February, and then you commenced paying Mr. Harrington from the 20th of March and for the three months up to the 20th of June?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. And about that time you resumed your duties?-A. I calculated to resume fully about that time.
Q. Then you staid in the office until some time about the last of August ?—A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you leave the office before your permission came for leave of absence ?—A. I did not leave the office until the 1st of September or thereafter.
Q. Where did you go after the 1st of September?-A. I went to Leominster.
Q. Did you open an office there?-A. Yes.
Q. Did you advertise there as a physician?-A. Yes.
Q. Did you practice medicine during that month?-A. Yes.
Q. What was the date of the letter to which you alluded a little while ago, from Mr. Bangs to Mr. Cheney, authorizing your last leave of absence ?-A. I cannot give the date, but Mr. Cheney's letter was dated 26th of August, and I think that Mr Bangs's letter in reply was probably written four days thereafter.
Q. Did the leave come?-A. Yes; I know that it came. September.
I saw it about the 8th o
Q. Which came first, the leave of absence or the acceptance of your letter of resignation ?—A. The acceptance of my letter of resignation came inclosed to me. The leave of absence came to Mr. Cheney at Boston. I was not there when it was received. It was received about the 1st of September.
Q. Did the leave of absence come from one branch of the Post-Office Department here, and the acceptance of your letter of resignation from another branch ?-A. That
Q. Mr. Bangs wrote to Mr. Cheney to grant you leave of absence, and the acceptance of your letter of resignation came from the First Assistant Postmaster-General — A. I cannot say whether that was so or not. I cannot say whether it came from the general superintendent of the railway mail service or from the First Assistant Postmaster-General, but I think from the latter. I have it at home, I think. Mr. CALDWELL read the original letter, as follows:
"SIR: The Postmaster General has accepted your resignation as head clerk in the railway mail service between New York and Boston, to take effect on and after October 1, 1875.
"Acting for First Assistant Postmaster-General."
Q. So that at the time that that letter accepting your resignation was received, you were practicing medicine at Leominster, Mass.-A. Yes, sir.
Q. How far is Leominster from the Boston post-office ?-A. By the railroad it is 53 miles.
Q. I understood you, in reply to an interrogatory of Mr. Cannon's, to state that you are now practicing medicine?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Have you a partner?-A. I have not.
Q. How is it that you can give particular attention to your patients, if there are certain hours (say from 9 till 5) when you cannot visit them? Do you not have some patients who are very sick and who may need attention four or five times a day ?—A. I never had a patient who required attendance so many times a day.
Q. Do your patients require attendance only at particular hours?—A. It is customary for physicians to visit patients only once a day.
Q. Suppose that a man takes sick in the street, in a fit, and sends for you, would you not attend to him?-A. I am not practicing medicine in Boston, but at Medford, Mass., and nobody would send to the Boston post-office for me.
Q. Do you advertise out there that you just practice certain hours?—A. Yes, sir; I have office hours from 7 to 8 in the morning and from 7 to 8 in the evening.
Q. Do you do anything but office practice?-A. I visit my patients if I am called upon to visit them.
By Mr. CANNON :
Q. Is it not true that your patients are like young lawyers' clients, not very numerous?-A. They are not very numerous now.
By Mr. CALDWELL:
Q. What is your present compensation as an employé in the postal service?—A. One hundred and seventeen dollars a month; $1,404 a year.
Q. For discharging what kind of duties?-A. Desk duties; writing.
Q. What is the technical name of your position?-A. I am assistant or clerk to the superintendent of mails in the Boston post-office, Mr. Holmes.
Q. Do you know what compensation Mr. Holmes gets ?-A. No, sir.
Q. Is he running two offices and signing two pay-rolls, or has he at any time done so, to your knowledge?-A. He is superintendent of mails in the Boston post-office, and he is chief clerk of the railway mail service. I do not know about his signing two pay-rolls.
Q. While you were out of service, did you travel on a chief clerk's pass?-A. I used a chief clerk's pass to go to Boston during the remainder of the year for which I had passes-the year 1875.
Q. Yon used it for the balance of the year, September, October, November, and December?-A. Yes, sir; I did on one or two roads.
By Mr. MONEY:
Q. Do you mean that after you had resigned and gone to practicing medicine, you used a chief clerk's pass?-A. Yes, sir; I had passes.
Q. Did you consider those passes as personal and not official?-A. These passes were given at the request of Mr. Cheney.
Q. Did you consider them as personal and not official?-A. They were given to me officially.
Q. And you used them after you had ceased to be an official?-A. Yes.
Q. What is a substitute ?-A. A substitute is one who takes the place of another. Q. And does his work?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did your substitute take your place and do your work, or did he take somebody else's place and do somebody else's work?-A. That was an arrangement with Mr. Blount. There was a man detailed to his line, and he agreed to take my place as chief clerk.
Q. You were absent three months with a substitute in your place ?-A. Yes.
Q. And the first month you were absent by leave of absence (which you anticipated a little)?-A. I do not know about the date.
Q. You say that you left Boston about the 18th of February, and that your leave of absence took effect on the 22d ?-A. I do not know about that.
By the CHAIRMAN:
Q. You stated a while ago that a proposition was made to pay Mr. Blount for doing that work in your absence. Who made that proposition?-A. I do not recollect whether the proposition was made by me or by Mr. Blount.
Q. Did you not make it yourself?—A. I do not know from whom the proposition emanated.
Q. Did you pay Mr. Blount ?-A. No, sir.
Q. You do not know whether he made the proposition to you or whether you made it to him?-A. No, sir; I do not.
Q. But you say that he made a demand upon you and that you did not pay it?—A. Yes, sir.
By Mr. CALDWELL:
Q. When your first month's leave expired, when you were at Bowdoin, did you get any letter or telegram, or anything from Mr. Cheney indicating his willinguess that